Right here at Hackaday, we undoubtedly like to have fun the laborious hacks: the insane feats of reverse engineering, the physics-defying flights of fancy, or the abuse of leading edge expertise. However right this moment I’d like to lift a rhetorical glass in tribute of the straightforward hacks. As a result of, to be completely sincere, the huge majority of my hacks are easy hacks, and it’s most likely the identical for you too. And these typically go unsung as a result of, effectively, they’re easy. However that doesn’t imply that one thing easy can’t be useful.
Living proof: an ESP8266 press-buttons machine that we featured this week. It doesn’t do a lot. It’s primary function is that it connects to a home automation community over WiFi and allows you to flip three relays. Wires coming off the board are to be soldered to the not-yet-smart machine in query, merely related to every aspect of the button you’d wish to press. Within the instance, a espresso machine was turned on and the “go” button pressed, automating probably the most important kitchen rituals. Whereas recording the podcast, I spotted that I’ve constructed primarily this machine and have it controlling our home’s heating furnace.
For the skilled hacker, there’s not a lot right here. It’s a easy board design, the software program closely leverages ESPHome, so there’s not a lot work on that entrance both. However think about that you simply lacked any of the wide-ranging expertise that it takes to make such a tool: PCB format, ESP8266 software program wrangling, or the nuances of designing with relays. You would simply as simply construct this machine improper as proper. The startup prices are non-trivial.
Making a easy design like this obtainable to the general public isn’t a technical flex, and it’s not contributing to the leading edge. Nevertheless it simply could be giving somebody their first style of DIY home automation, and a candy style of success. There’s not a lot simpler than discovering a change and soldering on two wires, but when that’s the spark that pushes them on their path to higher hacks, that’s superior. And even when it doesn’t, at the least it’s one other equipment beneath person management, related to a non-public WiFi community relatively than spying you out and phoning home to Large Toaster.
So right here’s to the straightforward hacks!